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Jammu & Kashmir

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Interessante destinationer og seværdigheder i Jammu & Kashmir

The Kashmir Valley
For the visitor, the iirst view of Kashmir is unforgettable whether it is seen from the air or the ground. In tlu; verdant summer the valley is a sea of deepest green rice fields, intersected by rigid avenues of tall poplar, dotted with neatly planted oi chards of apple, plum and almond trees. Interspersed are villages of tall, double-story farmhouses made of wood and brick. The Mughal emperors who came here in the summer months coined a word for the valley "Paradiss." And no one would dispute that, no one who has seen the valley in its correct perspective- shaded by magnificent chinars surrounded on all sides by a ring of mountains and its innumerable rushing streams, and blessed with the scent of wild briar roses.
   This beautiful land has been settled since very early times. Excavations have unearthed cireular residential pits and stone implements dating from 2,500 B.C. Much more recently, in 250 B.C. the Emperor Ashoka is credited with having introduced Buddhism into Kashmir. Harwan, just north of Shalimar, the nuns of an ancient Buddhist settlement have been found. The glorious age of Hindu rule reached its apex under King Lalitaditya who lived in the beginning of the 8th Century A.D. His memory is immortalized in the remains of his massive temple of hewn stone at Martand, near Mattan on the road to Pahalgam, and in the ruins of his extensive city oF Parihasapura, three miles (five km) off The road to Baramullah, beyond the Gulmarg turnoff, The Kashmiri valley is sprinkled with hundreds of other ancient temples including the famous Avantiswami Temple in Awantipura on the Pahalgam tourist route.

Srinagar City
The lush greenery of the valley with its terraced rice fields, fruit orchards and swirling waterways spills into the city of Srinagar via the Dal Lake and great of avenues of poplar and chinar trees. This is fresh natural atmosphere combined with the commercial clamor of the old city's of twisting medieval streets gives Srinagar distinctive and vitalizing flavor. The water world of the Dal and Nagin lakes in Srinagar can be explored in the almost decadent comfort of Shikaras, hand-paddled water taxis. In the mountanis, sturdy hill ponies are available for riding or as pack animals to carry trekking supplies on a number of beautiful trekking routes.

Jammu & Kashmir

Delstatshovedstad: Srinagar
Areal: 222.236 km²
Befolkning: 7.718.700
Andel der kan læse/skrive: 27%
Hovedsprog: Kashmiri, Dogri, Urdu, Ladakhi

The state of Jammu and Kashmir combine three distinct areas, each unique Physically, culturally and aesthetically Not only do people in Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh live in radically different environments; they also speak different languages, worship different Gods and think along separate cultural lines. This rich diversity enhances the mystery of remote mountain valleys and flavors the cultural complexities of busy urban centers, The city of Jammu is a big, sprawling entrepot town situated at the interface of the plains and the hills. It is difficult to enjoy Jammu in the terrific heat of the summer, which is when most people pass through on their way to the cool mountains of Kashmir and Ladakh, but the old part of the city has a number of unusual attractions.
   There are two major temple complexes: the Ranbireshwar Temple, with a towering 246-foot (75-meter) tower, is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is renowned for its large crystal lingams (the phallic symbols of Lord Shiva); and the Raghunath Temple, which is surrounded by one of the largest temple in northern India. Its interiors covered with gold leaf, the temple is dedicated to Rama, the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu and hero of the Ramayana epic.
   The Dogra Art Gallery contains over 500 paintings in the delicate miniature style which was sponsored by the royal families of neighbouring hill ' like Basohli and Kangra. The rough stone-cut Bahu Fort on the opposite bank of the Tawi River is undoubtedly the oldest monument in Jammu while the Amar Mahal Palace claims irst prize as the oldest. Designed for an eooentric mahataja by a French architect, the Amar Mahal resembles a medieval, complete with turrets. Converted into a museum, the building now houses a library, portrait gallery and more beautiful miniature paintings.
   A number of interesting excursions can be made from Jammu to small lakes and temples in the surrounding hills. The Mansar Lake, with its shrine to a local goddess, is a wonderful oasis in the dry hills. Bordering the southern edge of the sacred lake area a tourist bungalow and a small enclosure for deer. By far the most shrine to north India's Hindus, is the cave temple of Vaishno Devi, 37 miles (60 km) northwest of Jammu city. Thousands of devout Hindus make the pilgrimage to this temple every year, many of them fulfilling vows that they would cover the distance on foot or bicycle.
   Kashmir is an ancient country, much fought over because of its strategic location. According to tradition, its name derives from the Khasi, a people who lived in the northern mountains several centuries before the Christian era. The country was originally a stronghold of Hinduism; Buddhism was introduced about 245 BC. Beginning in the mid-14th century AD, Muslim sultans controlled the area for two centuries. Akbar, the Mughal emperor of Hindustan, conquered Kashmir between 1586 and 1592and it became a part of the Mughal empire. Between 1756 and 1819 it was under Afghan rule; in the latter year, Kashmir was conquered by Ranjit Singh, the Sikh maharaja of the Punjab. In 1846 Kashmir was annexed to the (Hindu) Dogra kingdom of Jammu; the Dogra dynasty continued to rule the region until August 1947, when British India was partitioned into a predominantly Muslim Pakistan and a predominantly Hindu India.
   Following partition, a section of the Muslim population of Kashmir demanded accession to Pakistan. The reigning maharaja, Sir Hari Singh, a Hindu, resisted the pro-Pakistani movement. Pakistan invaded the area, after which the maharaja signed the Instrument of Accession to the Indian Union. India thereupon dispatched troops to Kashmir and in the ensuing conflict forced the Pakistarus to yield ground.

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© Mogens Engelund, Roskilde, 12. april 2004
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Opdateret d. 15.4.2004